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Show Me the Money: Labor/Management Issues in Professional Baseball

1. Watch Episode 2 of the Economics U$A video series (which can be obtained from PBS). There is a 20 minute excerpt on markets and baseball which discusses the reserve clause, Curt Flood, and the first free agent baseball players. 2. Watch Chapter 6 of the first inning video of Ken Burns" Baseball video series. This five minute clip features John Montgomery Ward discussing the reserve clause and early baseball unions. 3. Have students keep a scrapbook on professional sports union issues. You could have them reflect on the articles by writing journal entries. 4. Have students compare and contrast the player salaries in each of the major sports leagues. Ask students to answer questions such as: why are baseball players paid more than football players? 5. Have students research the following question and respond with an essay: The Brotherhood Manifesto, a formal complaint of the reserve clause in baseball, was released on November 4, 1889, and the reserve clause was finally lifted in 1975. Why did it take approximately 86 years to reverse? What incidents led to its reversal? 6. Have students research from where baseball team revenues come. 7. In "The NL Responds to the Manifesto (1889)" the owners, and Spalding in particular, gives a statistic of several players salaries over $1,500,000. Does this statistic line up with the average baseball salary from that era (refer to Worksheet 1)? What do you think accounts for such a discrepancy?

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